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Waste Management driver saves family's dog from fire

Joe Simmons comes to rescue during trash route
Palm Beach County Waste Management driver Joe Simmons on May 21, 2021.jpg
Posted at 1:48 PM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 17:56:25-04

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — The watchful eye of a Waste Management employee helped save a family's home and their dog.

Joe Simmons was helping a Waste Management team finish their trash route on Wednesday in the Ocean Tide community in Riviera Beach.

"Boss says, keep your head in a swivel, and I paid attention and I saw the smoke," Simmons said.

Simmons said he saw smoke coming from one of the homes further down the street. He said he didn't hesitate to call 911 to get firefighters to the scene.

"Less than five, six minutes, they were here," Simmons said.

Simmons said the people weren't home, but a few minutes after the firefighters were at the home they did take someone from inside.

"Then I see the dog and then the guy," Simmons said.

A dog had been inside the home. An animal lover himself with his daughter owning a turtle, Simmons said who knows what would have happened if the fire spread any further.

"That touched me to know I was there to save a dog's life," Simmons said. "We can't be more proud."

Simmons' manager said this is exactly what they teach their employees to do.

"It is not just a workplace or a job, he took care of the community he works in," Simmons said.

The experience was a first for Simmons, but he said he hopes it's a reminder for others to never just ignore a situation.

"Sometimes you look over stuff and think I should have done that, but I did it," Simmons said.